Dell‘s gaming PC subsidiary, Alienware, has consistently set itself apart from the competition with its “out of this world” design and modular approach. However, with their latest flagship prebuilt PC, the Aurora R16, they’ve taken a different direction, prioritising functionality over its usual emphasis on form. This year, the gaming PC maker has placed a major focus on introducing its new space-saving design while simultaneously addressing long-standing airflow and thermal issues, “all the while achieving the elite gaming performance gamers expect from Alienware.”
While it’s still housed in the familiar steel chassis and offers the same 25.2 litres of component space, the Aurora R16 is 40 per cent smaller in volume than the R15, resulting in a sleeker and more compact design. Beneath its sleek new exterior, the new Aurora R16 boasts comes equipped with the latest Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs and powerful 12th-generation and 13th-generation CPUs, including the Intel Core i9-13900F. When it comes to memory, you’ll have the flexibility to go all out with up to 64GB of Dual Channel DDR5 RAM, while storage options reach an impressive 4TB capacity.
For those looking to further fine-tune their system, the Aurora R16 offers customization options, including a 1000W PSU, which can be either air-cooled or liquid-cooled for enhanced performance. The desktop PC also comes with like a gazillion ports for almost all your connectivity needs, including a front USB-C port running at 10Gbps, three 5Gbps USB-A ports and a 3.5mm headset jack, while the rear offers a 20Gbps USB-C port, a 10Gbps USB-C port, two 5Gbps USB-A ports, and a pair of USB 2.0 ports as well as 2.5Gbps ethernet and an array of audio out. The standout feature of the Aurora R16 desktop is the innovative “Stadium loop” on its left side. This oval lighting loop elegantly traces the chassis’ contours, showcasing the hexagonal side vents.
To ensure efficient cooling, there’s a single 120mm intake fan located behind the vents, along with larger top vents, while internal cable management has been optimized for better airflow. The window side of the loop boasts an impressive display of 44 distinct LEDs, providing vibrant lighting and representing one of the three RGB LED zones within the computer. Furthermore, both the rear exhaust fan and the front’s distinctive alienhead logo incorporate RGB LEDs, enhancing the overall visual appeal. The Aurora R16 will even allow you to install a 240mm liquid cooling radiator with twin 120mm fans at the top, further bolstering the system’s cooling capabilities.
The Alienware Aurora R16 is also the first desktop to come with the new Alienware Command Center, “a centralized dashboard allowing gamers to quickly access settings such as game-specific profiles and themes, lighting, macros, audio and more – all things that are critical to your gaming experience.” Despite all the new improvements, the R16 isn’t as upgradeable as you would want it to be. The company’s use of proprietary components with the new model has limited the compatibility with standard replacement parts available, thus leading to potential difficulties in replacing failed components.
For instance, the motherboard on the Aurora R16 ditches the standard ATX layout as it extends to the front panel and directly incorporates the front panel ports. When asked about this new design choice, Alienware lead Matt McGowan told Verge, “It was more efficient for us to move forward with this architecture and iterate on that than it was for us to completely redesign the product.” The Aurora R16 has already been released in the US, but its Australian debut is scheduled for August 8. As of now, Dell has not provided any official pricing details for the Australian market.
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